New Website | Early Modern Typography

Posted in resources by Editor on January 5, 2017


I imagine some Enfilade readers will find Early Modern Typography useful (it includes the eighteenth century); it’s also interesting to see a blog used as an index for a Flickr collection of images. As posted several days ago on the SHARP listserv (with permission from Paul Dijstelberge for resposting). CH

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Dear Friends,

On the first day of the year I want to present a new website: earlymoderntypography.com. I have been adding images to a Flickr collection for 7 years, but the access became more and more difficult, due to the sheer amount of images. Early Modern Typography functions as an index to the Flickr website of 70,000 images of type, historiated initials, images, pages, bindings, and so on. The Flickr collection functions as a repository containing the ‘rough’ material for a book I am writing on the 16th-century European decorated initials (to be finished in 2017, with a separate website with advanced search possibilities).

The Flickr site contains material of 800+ printers and is growing on a daily basis. In time I hope to use ICONCLASS and advanced image search to create an instrument for the history of the book in the broadest sense. In 2017 I hope to digitize the archives of the late Paul Valkema Blouw that contains all 16th-century Dutch printers from 1540 to 1600 and to start on the Dutch late 17th and 18th centuries. Dutch books can be rather boring so I will add initials and images from other European printers too, mainly from the 16th and 18th centuries.

There is another page that might be of interest: illustrations from early modern books. I am working on Ovid’s Metamorphoses and on our great collections of topography and medicine at the Allard Pierson / Special Collections at the University of Amsterdam. Ovid is part of a project to write a thesis on the Dutch editions of the Metamorphoses.

I hope 2017 will be a good year. Like Candide I will spend it with cultivating my garden, but not without looking out for our civilization in general.


Paul Dijstelberge
University of Amsterdam / Allard Pierson – Special Collections



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